Most tenants were moved from dilapidated structures in South Mumbai in 1980 to transit camps in Kumbharwada.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has asked the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) why it was not giving permanent homes to around 117 tenants, who were living in a transit camp at Gorai and were asked to move to another transit camp as the existing structures had become dilapidated. Surprised at the fact that the tenants were being shunted from one transit camp to another for the past 30 years, the court asked Mhada why it was not giving them permanent accommodation. The court asked the tenants to shift within 15 days, saying that the existing structures was dangerous and lives could not be risked.
A division bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a writ petition filed by Shri Sai Sankraman Shibir Welfare Association, praying for directions to Mhada to refrain from evicting tenants living in transit buildings at Gorai forcefully. The tenants contended that as the building they were being shifted to was also in a bad shape, they preferred to retain their current residences. The petitioners also prayed for directions to Mhada to provide them permanent residences as they were fed up of being shunted from one transit building to another every few years.
While enumerating the plight of the tenants, advocate Kameshwar Tiwari informed the court that most of them were displaced from their homes in south Mumbai nearly 30 years ago and were shifted to various transit camps from time to time. He further said that while Mhada had asked the tenants to shift to another transit camp they did not want to do so as that structure was also in a bad shape and they feared they would be made to shift again in a few years. Advocate Tiwari prayed that the tenants be given permanent homes and allowed a month to shift to the new transit camps.
However, the counsel for Mhada argued that as the current transit buildings were in a really bad shape, shifting the tenants was the need of the hour. He informed the court that the structures where the tenants were asked to shift, had received occupation certificates and the ‘minor problems’ pointed out by the tenants would be repaired and made habitable before they shifted.